L.A. Detectives Ask for Help in Wildfire Probe

September 14, 2009

Los Angeles homicide detectives investigating the deadly arson fire burning in the Angeles National Forest want to talk to anyone who made the initial efforts to report the blaze, authorities said Friday.

The investigators hope to hear from anyone who may have knocked on the door of a ranger station near the point of origin or called in a report of the fire by phone, said Steve Whitmore, spokesman for the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.

The fire began at midafternoon on Aug. 26 along Angeles Crest Highway northeast of Los Angeles.

Lt. Liam Gallagher, who is heading up the homicide probe, said several people flagged down deputies to report the fire or stopped by the ranger station a mile or so from where the blaze began.

Investigators who studied the scene have called the blaze arson but have released no details. It became a homicide investigation after two county firefighters were killed on Aug. 30 when their truck plunged off a mountain road.

The 250-square-mile blaze, dubbed the Station Fire because of its proximity to the ranger station, was 77 percent contained Friday.

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